Staff encouraged by Cheesman's visit
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
November 7, 2012
There’s precious little residential property left for people looking to build homes in certain parts of Admaston-Bromley Township. But that may change before too long.
An Oct. 16 visit by Renfrew County manager of planning services Charles Cheesman may have started the process to redesignate several properties from agricultural to rural, as part of the review of Renfrew County’s Official Plan.
Admaston-Bromley officials are optimistic, but the planning manager says cautiously: “This is the early days, and there’s a long process to redesignate any land from agricultural to rural.”
Cheesman took last month’s 2.5-hour tour of township properties with Admaston-Bromley clerk-treasurer Bev Briscoe and roads superintendent Chris Kunopaski.
Several properties designated agricultural, but thought by the township to have the potential to be changed to rural, were visited.
When the tour was completed, Briscoe was pleased to say that Cheesman is entertaining recommendations that could lead to such changes for maybe 40 per cent of those properties.
“Rural property can be developed, but agricultural can’t. So the more rural property we have the more taxes we’ll get because there can be more development,” said clerk-treasurer Briscoe.
“I think Charles was quite pleased with the places we took him. Of course, there’s pros and cons to it all, but the next step is to convince the Ministry of Ag and Food to consider (any of) our changes when they do the county’s Official Plan review.”
There’s still plenty of land available for building homes in more forested areas as Shamrock, Ferguslea and Mont St. Patrick. But the same can’t be said about more open areas. These include properties on Highway 132, South McNaughton Road, Stone Road, Bulger Road and Cobden Road.
“We don’t want to interfere with good agricultural land,” stressed Briscoe. “All we’re trying to do is see if we can get poor agricultural land changed to rural.”
Cheesman was not agreeable to recommending rezoning sections on such roads as South McNaughton, Reid, Stone, Cheese Factory and Stoqua Creek.
However, he indicated he was comfortable supporting recommendations to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to redesignate other properties. This included Opeongo Road property; the Riverview Drive intersection along Highway 132 to Stone Road; parts of South McNaughton Road closer to Douglas; and property on Bulger Road and Micksburg-Burwell Road.
Any changes are better than the way it is now, said Mayor Raye-Anne Briscoe, noting that many parcels of land in the 1980s were designated agricultural when they shouldn’t have been.
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